Alfa Romeo re-writes electrification plans to focus on volume

Alfa Romeo stopped developing a pair of two-door sports cars to focus on high-volume crossovers as part of its ongoing restructuring. The Italian firm has also scaled back its green ambitions, though it hasn’t deep-sixed them completely, and a recent report sheds light on what to expect.

The Fiat-owned automaker needs to release electrified models to keep up with its German and Japanese rivals, to satisfy demand from buyers, and to remain on the right side of government regulations. While it originally announced plans to electrify six of seven nameplates, its updated product road map outlines two plug-ins out of four models; they’re the two we haven’t seen yet.

With the 4C allegedly out of the picture, and a direct replacement not expected to arrive, the Alfa Romeo range currently consists of the Giulia sedan (pictured), the Stelvio crossover, and a city-friendly, front-wheel drive hatchback named Giulietta sold in Europe, among other global markets. The latter will retire next year as it celebrates its 10th birthday, so the Giulia and the Stelvio will represent the Milan-based brand on their own until they’re joined by two crossovers. One is the Tonale, which was previewed by an eponymous concept car at the 2019 Geneva auto show, and leaked online several weeks later. It will take Alfa Romeo into the plug-in hybrid segment for the first time. The other is a yet-unnamed entry-level soft-roader which will offer an electric powertrain. Both will also come with non-electrified drivetrains.

The Giulia and the Stelvio are no longer in line to receive hybrid technology, interestingly. Alfa Romeo has a proven history of changing its product plan on a regular basis, so seeing a plug-in hybrid variant of either nameplate is not entirely out of the question. Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) boss Mike Manley hinted the rear-wheel drive Giorgio platform on which both cars are built was recently updated to accommodate an array of tech features, including alternative powertrains.

«We have changed the suspension. We have updated all of the electrical architecture in that so that it can take the next-generation infotainment as well as very, very advanced high-tech features,» he explained, according to Automotive News. He didn’t go into more specific details, but the publication believes the updated platform could also find its way into the research and development department of sister company Maserati, which is also planning a major range extension during the 2020s.

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